Well, truthfully, they don’t.
I don’t. You don’t. The mom next door doesn’t. The mom at the preschool class with the super cool treats with handmade decorations doesn’t. The mom in the Starbucks (excellent choice) line in front of you doesn’t. The mom at church, work, school, grocery store, doctor’s office, next door, driving to baseball, and all the other moms – they just don’t get it all done.
And it’s okay.
I know, you’re probably looking at that to-do list (or not if you’re simply anti to-do lists) and right now a million things are running through your brain. I know even writing that triggered a list that raced through my head – move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, fold the towels that got dumped out of the dryer and not folded, finish cleaning the kitchen, make sure you work on multiplication facts, call to check on test times, call the dentist and set up cleanings (weren’t we just there?), call the doctor and set up a recheck, get groceries, respond to emails, write post, help with science report, find something for dinner, wipe down fridge interior, go get groceries, don’t forget gluten free bread, and on and on – all of that? All I had to do was think of a list and those are the things that immediately came into my mind.
And then, then the list of everything I should have done will start to pester me. I should have read one more book, should have played longer, should have helped them clean their room, should have, should have, should have.
The truth? You and I and all the moms in the world just don’t ever get it all done.
We’re a life in motion.
A life where there are real hurdles, real bumps, real moments where we want to just throw our hands in the air and say enough. Or maybe at least ask for a fifty second pause. A mom time out, perhaps?
But, do you want to know truth?
You really do get it all done.
You get done what you can do and you get up in the morning and you keep going in a world where the list will never ever end. That’s the thing about motherhood and life – the list is like this never ending ladder of things to constantly keep doing. You think you made it to the top rung and then there’s always just one more thing you could be doing. One more after one more after one more.
Do you know that right now even if you feel like you’re flailing just trying to keep your head above water because you have that eight week colicky baby and a three year old and you’re house isn’t perfectly put back together that you’re getting it all done.
Do you know that when you drop off the little one at daycare who cries when you leave and you back out of the driveway and spill just a bit of that fabulous Starbucks coffee on your clean shirt and you answer emails and think about what you’re going to make for dinner that you’re getting it all done?
Do you know that when you sit outside a bedroom door and talk with your teen about really hard stuff and love of them in the midst and stay up late and forget about folding the towels on the floor but instead just sit and listen that you are getting it all done?
You are mothering.
It’s not about a never ending nebulous to-do list of things.
It’s about being real. Being a mother. Putting one foot in front of the other and marching forward even though sometimes it feels like you’re simply treading water.
You are getting up. You are making breakfast for your family. Taking care of them. Working or staying at home or working at home. Cleaning up. Doing laundry. Giving kisses and hugs when needed. Crying in the bathroom when you’re overwhelmed and then splashing water on your face. Buttering sandwiches. Making beds (maybe). Matching socks. Looking littles in the eye and telling them you’re the best. Trying to figure out Halloween costumes the night before (that’s me today). Giving hugs. Sharing your sandwich. Budgeting in a world where you wish you could just have a budget. Picking up the same toy again and again. Feeding babies. You’re moving.
You are moving.
Motherhood is a to-do list in constant motion.
Getting it all done doesn’t mean having a list at the end of the day with every single thing checked off. Getting it all done means doing exactly what you’ve been doing since the day you became blessed to be a mother. It means making mistakes and yet trying again. It means fighting for your family. It means smiling with tears in your eyes. It’s reading books over and over again. It’s being okay with rerunnig the wash cycle because you forgot to move it. It’s in learning to give yourself grace and the mothers all around you grace.
It’s looking at the ambiguous never ending ladder of things that we think we should could forgot to need to be doing and saying – I am enough.
I am enough when I love my kids. When I fight for them. When I do my normal every day things that often feel like they don’t mean much but in the scheme of life are the moments that will matter. I am enough even when I make mistakes and try again. I am enough when my life isn’t perfect. I am enough when we have the same dinner again and again. I am enough even when I feel so often like I’m out of breath. I am enough when I am running late. I am enough when I stay up late sitting on the floor in my toddlers room because he won’t go to sleep. I am enough.
Moms get it all done every single day.
One thing. One hug. One smile. One more pulling up of the boot straps. One more fight for right. One more reminder of grace. One more not comparing my life to the mom next doors life and using that to judge getting it all done. One more listening to the same knock knock joke and chuckling again moment in life. One more moment simply being a mom.
So if you’re asked how you get it all done every single day you can answer that’s just what moms do.
Today’s photos? All real life live from the instagram feed. Find me there at finding_joy
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.